Competency-based education is an educator-led reform that has gained ground in many schools and districts nationwide. Rather than measuring student learning by how long they spend in the classroom, competency-based education measures student mastery of specific skills and knowledge at their own pace.
Teachers can customize learning paths to each student’s individual needs, and students demonstrate their mastery through authentic assessments. Unlike traditional assignments that may involve drafting papers or conducting research, these assessments focus on what students do to demonstrate mastery of a skill or knowledge they are learning. This is typically done through rubrics or feedback that helps students assess their progress and identify areas for improvement.
Competency-based education is fundamentally about measuring student progress based on how well they possess the necessary competencies to pass courses. Traditionally, this measurement has been done through credit hours; however, creating programs without this dependence on credits may prove challenging to implement and assess effectively.
To successfully transition to a competency-based education model, teachers and administrators need the appropriate resources and learning systems in place. This could include intelligent learning platforms that are self-paced and allow students to master the content at their own pace.
Teachers using an effective learning platform have access to their students’ progress data, allowing them to monitor progress and make necessary modifications as needed. This enables educators to guarantee that their students receive the best education possible.
As a result, competency-based education is becoming more and more commonplace in schools and colleges across America. This approach provides students with a flexible and personalized way to learn, giving them the chance to excel in a career they are passionate about.
One of the primary difficulties when transitioning to a competency-based approach is changing teaching mindsets. This especially holds true for educators accustomed to annual curriculums with only certain amounts of time in each class and predetermined standards and skillsets.
For instance, in Melrose, Massachusetts a high-performing school district implemented CBE instead of traditional teaching, testing and grading methods. By emphasizing skills instead of credits, teachers were able to improve students’ test scores as well as their overall school success.
This shift in mindset may take some getting used to, but the rewards are immense. It gives students a sense of control and responsibility over their education, helping them learn faster and more effectively.
Teachers and administrators can save time by focusing on more pressing matters in their classrooms. Furthermore, it provides students with a better comprehension of topics they must learn, making it simpler for them to meet their academic objectives.